How To Edit Your Academic Papers On Your Own

Academic writing is prevalent in colleges, universities and high schools. The practice of academic writing serves as a way for students to express their applied knowledge to a certain subject in the form of a work of writing.

The academic paper is generally written in a semi-formal, objective and impersonal manner. This allows a writer to effectively convey their interpretation of the information within the paper without their personal opinions defining the work.

Many educational institutions use academic papers as a way to measure a student's capabilities in certain subjects. As a result, academic papers are generally individual assignments given to students to complete on their own.

An individual student is responsible for the research, writing and revision of their own academic paper before submission. The research and writing aspect can be relatively straightforward for them; it's the revision and editing process that can become difficult alone.

How to self edit academic papers

Most students don't have immediate access to an editor. They do, however, have access to peers who can read through their work for them. It's more reliable to use what's known as self editing to effectively revise and edit an academic paper.

Most self editing starts with checking for basic spelling and grammar errors, either during or after the writing process. Many word processors have built-in spelling and grammar checkers, which makes this step rather simple.

Effective self editing utilizes more than a simple spelling and grammar checker. Students also need to know how to review their papers themselves and catch errors. Reading a style guide can help students identify what style their academic paper needs to follow; in most cases, style guides cover academic writing essentials like formatting and citations.

Before editing, it's suggested to leave the academic paper alone for a few hours or days. This allows a student to read their paper with 'fresh eyes' and catch mistakes that they didn't see the first time. When reading through the paper, it's important to look at each individual sentence for any tense issues, structure issues or unnecessary words. Alter the sentences if they need to be, keeping the original meaning if possible.

An alternative way to clean up an academic paper involves reading it out loud. Reading a paper out loud can help a student writer catch awkward or clunky sentences, missing or repetitive words, misspellings and other mistakes. The paper can be read out loud or put into text to speech software to have the computer read it.